Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,410 by Phi

Posted by Simon Harris on July 16th, 2010

Simon Harris.

I don’t tend to time these things, but this can’t have taken more than a few minutes. Definitely at the easier end of the Phi spectrum, but no less entertaining for that, with some very enjoyable clues.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

Across
1 RINGMASTER – A in (STERN GRIM)*.
6 MEMO – [so]ME MO[ments] &lit.
10 MAVEN – V + E in MAN.
11 AVAILABLE – [c]AVA + I + LABEL*.
12 DIPDI + P[atience].
13 DELTA – dd.
14 OVERTHROW – H in OVERT + ROW.
15/18 A POLICEMAN’S LOT IS NOT A HAPPY ONE – dd., one of them sort-of-cryptic.
22 HYDRANGEA – H + (RANGE in DAY*).
24 NO END – EN in NOD.
25 SEC – SEC[t].
26 REPUGNANT – UP< in REGNANT.
27 ACT UP – A CT + UP.
28 HOPE – OP in HE.
29 DOORKEEPER – (OR + KEEP) in DOER.
Down
1 REMEDIAL – MEDIA in REL.
2 NOVELLO – NOVEL + L[ight] O[pera].
3 MANDARIN ORANGE – MANDARIN OR ANGE[l].
4 SOAP OPERA – SO + A POPE + RA.
5 EVADE – [n]EVAD[a] + E.
7 EMBARGO – (MB in EAR) + GO.
8 ONE-TWO – [radi]O NETWO[rk].
9 FLAT AS A PANCAKE – not quite sure how this works, perhaps just a cd. The use of “relief” is nice though.
16 ALABASTER – A LAB ASTER, i.e. an aster created in a laboratory, and thus artificial.
17 FELDSPAR – (LSD + P) in FEAR.
19 SODA POP – D in SOAP OP[era].
20 ONE-STEP – ‘ONEST + EP.
21 CHURCH – UR in CH + CH.
23 GUANO – not entirely sure here, though I guess it’s something to do with AUG<. Can ON mean "most of" somehow?

20 Responses to “Independent 7,410 by Phi”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Simon
    23dn is ON[e] (most of one) AUG (month) reversed.

  2. Simon Harris says:

    Ah, of course it is. Thanks for the clarification.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Agree, not too difficult, and I learned a new word MAVEN which had easy wordplay, which was good. Enjoyable puzzle.

  4. pat says:

    Hang on. 10a – piece = MAN, very = SO. Expert is a MASON.
    I discounted NOVELLO early on, because Ivor Novello was WELSH…

  5. Jake says:

    Thanks for info guys, I was a bit stuck on 24a even though I managed it without fully understanding it. This was just on the right level for me today. Nice one Phi.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Afternoon Simon. Thanks for the blog – I like the way you do those underliney thingies that tell you what the abbreviations are, btw. I think you meant to say CAVA (the wine) rather than CAVE at 11ac.

    This was gentle, but as you say entertaining. I did get MAVEN from the definition, just, but it’s one of those words that you think you know but can’t quite remember, so the easy wordplay was a help.

    15/18 I left till last, when the solution became clear. I liked OVERTHROW (but then I like any clues about cricket) and the SOAP OPERA/SODA POP link was good.

    Unless I’m misunderstanding things completely (which is entirely possible) if you’re clueing Ivor NOVELLO as an English singer, then you’ll be incurring the wrath of those west of Offa’s Dyke, because he’s, er, Welsh.

  7. Simon Harris says:

    I bet he sang in English though :)

  8. sidey says:

    Did Novello have a Welsh passport?

    Sorry.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I advise Simon and sidey to retreat behind the sofa for a bit, because Kathryn’s maternal grandparents are Welsh and I know from bitter experience that our fellow Britons from Cymru can be a bit touchy about this sort of thing. You have been warned …

  10. Colin Blackburn says:

    sidey: He certainly didn’t have an English passport! It’s possible that Phi is referring to Clara Novello who was and English singer, though a little less obvious than Ivor.

    MAVEN was a word I knew straight off from (a) computing where it is a build control system and (b) Scrabble where it is a computer algorithm for playing the game.

    Enjoyable puzzle all round though definitely on the easy side for Phi.

  11. Stella Heath says:

    So was my maternal grandfather, but I didn’t know Novello was – maybe I should have, but I’m more of the Tom Jones generation.

    That said, it didn’t stop me getting 15/18 early on, being a G&S fan thanks to another grandparent, in this case female and from the spear side.

    I agree it was quite easy, a relief after my struggle with Araucaria today, and I now have to look up the new word ‘maven’

  12. Stella Heath says:

    Our comments crossed over – I was responding to K’s D @11

  13. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Colin @ no 10 – interesting use of maven, that term was chosen because of its ‘expert’ connotations, I guess?

    Stella @ no 11 – the ‘spear side’? You’ll have to satisfy my curiosity before the weekend starts, if you don’t mind.

    On which note, a good weekend to all.

  14. Gaufrid says:

    Hi K’s D
    I’m not Stella, as you may have noticed, but in case she doesn’t revisit this post I can answer your question. The spear side is the male side or line of descent, as opposed to the spindle or distaff side.

  15. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Gaufrid. This site has given me much pleasure over the last twelve months or so, but it has also made me recognise how much I don’t know, which is sometimes slightly scary. Have a good weekend and thanks for all your work on 225.

  16. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Simon.
    Another enjoyable puzzle from Phi with plenty of inventive clues.15/18 was the weak point for me as I don’t particularly like that sort of clue.Shame about 2 down as well.
    Top clues for me 24 across and 16 and 19 down.

  17. Tatrasman says:

    Not only was Ivor Novello Welsh, he was much better known as a composer, so, unlikely as it seems, one assumes Phi was referring to Clara rather than Ivor. If he did mean Ivor, surely he could have put composer not singer, without affecting the integrity of the clue.

  18. Simon Harris says:

    …or just left out the word “English” entirely, so I agree completely. I’ve solved, and blogged, a lot of Phi puzzles and I don’t believe for a minute that Phi would make the kind of mistake that we’re suggesting, nor that Eimi would allow it through.

    I think it’s far more likely that we’ve been trolled :)

  19. Colin Blackburn says:

    Simon and Tatrasman: I’d agree. Phi is knowledgeable about music and it would be surprising if he’s made an error here.

    Kathryn’s Dad: Yes, I assume that is why maven is the name for these two systems. It was certainly why I saw the definition as very likely.

    Colin

  20. scarpia says:

    I suppose it could be Clara Novello Phi is referring to but that is a very obscure reference for a weekday puzzle.I’ve worked for over 20 years selling all kinds of (recorded)music and I’d never heard of her.I do realise she was around before recording properly began but I thought I knew of most of the pre-eminent singers from those days.

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